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Swami Nithyananda - Persecution 2.0 (Part 2)

Swami Nithyananda - Persecution 2.0 Part 2

Rajiv Malhotra's Criteria for Evaluating Swami Nithyananda Matter
 
I already gave my initial impressions on Swami Nithyananda's Persecution 2.0. [Swami Nithyananda Persecution 2.0 (Part 1)] Now I wish to explain my methodology for reasoning on these matters. There are multiple factors to consider. Following are the criteria I use to evaluate where I stand:
Criteria 1: Impact on Hinduism
Criteria 2: Future benefits versus harm caused to society
Criteria 3: Legal merits of the case itself
Criteria 4: Should the media be encouraged with a victory?
I will explain each of these briefly.
  1. 1) Impact on Hinduism: I have already explained the devastation caused each time anti-Hindus manage to bring down any Hindu icon, ritual, festival, guru, ideology, etc. Other religions (including Leftism) close ranks and deal with internal issues without letting opponents intrude and divide them. Hindus must learn to do this quickly. On this very important criteria alone, I support Swami Nithyananda against his opponents -- all of whom have a very anti-Hindu track record. Hindus must send the message of solidarity.
  2. Future benefits versus harm caused to society: I personally know a large number of individuals receiving great benefits from his teachings. Those who are not his students are entitled to their opinions, but they are unqualified to evaluate his teachings with competence because our tradition is all about experience. Those who have received benefits will not get swayed by critics, and the final proof of benefit is in such voices of the practitioners of his techniques. Of course, this must be weighed against any harm being produced. But there is only one isolated complaint against him in court now. That too is very unconvincing as the item below explains. So going forward, he is likely to offer huge benefits to large numbers, and the argument that he will cause harm is unsubstantiated. Huge numbers of people who benefit are speaking out, but media is muzzling their voices. One lone complainant gets massive media support. This is nonsense. 
  3. Legal merits of the case itself: 
  • The original Persecution 1.0 that happened in 2010 was 100% based on video clippings claiming to show Ranjitha in sex with Swami Nithyananda. That was played 1000s of times to sensationalize and push police into trumping up charges. But that case collapsed. The videos were declared morphed by forensic labs in USA.
  • Ranjitha lives as a devotee in his ashram. She has spoken out denying all the alleged events. Her lawyers have filed cases in court to this effect. 
  • A US Federal Court ruled in favor of Swami Nithyananda, and fined half a million dollars to a person who had smeared his name on false accusations. So now the media has stopped mentioning Ranjitha. Why? Because their entire sensation is declared a false accusation. First you accuse, and when proven wrong, you don't have the decency to make public apologies. 
  • Why do they feature Ranjitha on TV, given that it was her alleged "victim hood" that was used as fodder in the first place? Alternatively, her video testimony could be recorded by an independent interviewer and posted on Youtube. Her side of the story matters.
  • Now the arrogance of the police has been stirred up recently, because Swami Nithyananda's lawyers petitioned the Indian Supreme Court that the matter was dragging endlessly without merit. No concrete evidence of the charges had been supplied. The SC reprimanded them  for being lazy. This is why the police suddenly swing into action against him. Should the police be driven by revenge and vendetta? 
  • Now a different woman has emerged with allegations. She is the only one complaining now to the police. I was shown some papers on this matter. The charges look fraudulent to my novice eyes. Earlier she had complained of being raped. But when asked why she continued to travel with him on his talks for almost a decade (during the time period when she was supposedly being raped), she changed her story. Her latest story is that it was not rape, but consensual sex.
  • So if was consensual sex, why is that a sex-crime?
  • Most important: Her medical records from USA doctors were produced in court. These show that she had a STD (sexually transmitted disease) for the past 10 years -- which is incurable and highly contagious. So if she was regularly having sex with the accused man, he would have certainly acquired STD from her. But medical tests of Swami Nithyananda produced in court show that he has no such disease whatsoever. She has zero credibility as the accuser.
4) Should the media be encouraged with a victory? The media selectively cut-paste factoids and rumors, add their own speculations, prevent any opposing voice a chance to speak, and reach sweeping conclusions. Most of Indian media lacks not only intelligence but also integrity. I do not wish to hand them a moral victory. Just the opposite - this whole matter is mainly an ideological war between media and the institution of gurus. Thankfully, we now have social media to denounce the mainstream media's behavior. They have not yet learned their lesson and are still living in the arrogance of old school pomp. Conclusion:
  • Each of you must do your own analysis and draw your own conclusion. Mine is never a simplistic evaluation. Many factors must be considered.
  • Issues like "he teaches x or y ideologies" are irrelevant to the matter. Some people are against him on irrelevant grounds. Whether you like his rituals, meditations, dress, etc. - this is your choice but it has no bearing. I personally like our symbols and rituals. I like to understand them as yajna - enactments of cosmic theater in one's own self. Many of the arguments I read by those opposing him show their ignorance.

Author: Rajiv Malhotra

Published: Sep 13, 2014

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